RWC #23: Time stands still as Rob Andrew sinks Australia

England outhalf nails difficult drop goal in 1995 World Cup quarter-final at Newlands

Australia against England is one of sport's finest and most intriguing rivalries, whether the two nations are competing for a 15cm-tall urn or on a rugby pitch.

One of the best manifestations of the rivalry has been at the Rugby World Cup, with games between the two sides producing some of the tournament's most iconic moments.

The two will play each other in Pool A of this year’s tournament, making it the sixth out of eight World Cups in which they have met.

The first World Cup game between Australia and England came in 1987, with David Campese scoring as the Wallabies ran out 19-6 winners in the pool stages. A year later Australia came out on top again, this time winning 12-6 in the 1991 final, at Twickenham of all places.


Four years later and they would meet in the quarter-finals, with England out for revenge for their final defeat.

The two teams were well matched, and there were 15 survivors on the pitch who had played at Twickenham in ‘91

A mistake by Michael Lynagh, dropping the ball on England's '22, had led to a fine try for Tony Underwood, but the fly-half's boot brought the game level and then helped engineer a try for Damian Smith and a lead for Australia.

Lynagh and Rob Andrew traded kicks, the latter twice levelling the score to leave it at 22-22 in the dying moments.

Australia had a lineout on their own 22-metre line but for the first time John Eales was beaten to it, Martin Bayfield stealing it off his nose.

The pack rumbled forward, the ball came back for Andrew. From way left and just inside the 10 metre line he dropped for goal.

Time stood still at Newlands. But Andrew knew, he couldn’t have hit it any better. He wheeled away almost before the ball had sailed high through the posts. England had beaten Australia with the final kick of the game.

Patrick Madden

Patrick Madden

Patrick Madden is a former sports journalist with The Irish Times